Wellness Tips

Winter wellness: Strategies to safeguard your heart health in cold temperatures

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Last updated on – Jan 9, 2024, 12:43 IST

​Ten tips and tricks to maintain heart health in winter​

As the winter continues to chill us, our cardiovascular systems face unique challenges. There are multiple ways to safeguard our heart health during these colder months. Here are ten tips and tricks to ensure your heart remains resilient in the face of winter’s grip.

​Hydration matters: Combat the winter dry spell​

In winter, the air tends to be drier, which can contribute to dehydration particularly in the elderly. Also, we tend to drink less compared to the summer months. Adequate hydration is crucial for maintaining optimal blood viscosity and preventing unnecessary strain on your heart. Aim to consume at least 1.5 to 2 litres of fluid daily. Warm fluids like tea, green tea, herbal tea and soups will be appetising as well as hydrating.


​Don’t skip exercise, adapt it​

Winter can discourage even the most ardent fitness enthusiasts. Maintaining regular exercise is vital for general health as well as heart health. If outdoor activities is not your cup of tea, consider consider indoor activities such as swimming, gym exercises, home workouts or even brisk walking inside the house. This keeps your cardiovascular system in top-notch condition.

​Mind the winter diet: Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants​

It is well known that we tend to eat more and that too unhealthy junk in winter as the weather is depressing outside. Avoid this common behaviour and be strict with yourself. Incorporate omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts into your diet. These essential fatty acids play a key role in reducing inflammation and promoting heart health. Additionally, load up on antioxidant-rich foods like berries and dark leafy greens to combat oxidative stress.

​Dress warmly: Protect your cardiovascular command centre​

Extreme cold can constrict blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart-related complications. Dressing warm appropriately helps regulate body temperature, preventing sudden temperature drops that could stress your heart. Don’t forget to cover extremities to prevent frostbite.

​Maintain medication consistency: Your prescription for heart health​

Winter festivities and travel may disrupt medication schedules. Consistency is paramount. Ensure you take your prescribed medications regularly, and if you plan to travel, consult with your Cardiologist for guidance on managing your health as well as medications. Make sure you always have enough medicine supply to cover emergencies / uncertain travel schedules.

​Seasonal superfoods: Reinforce your heart’s defence​

Include seasonal local superfoods in your winter diet. Garlic, citrus fruits, and root vegetables like sweet potatoes offer a nutritional boost, providing essential vitamins and minerals that support heart health.


​Extreme weathers: Avoid overexertion in cold temperatures​

Engaging in vigorous outdoor activities in frigid temperatures can strain your heart. Be mindful of your limitations and avoid overexertion. If you have cardiovascular conditions, consult your cardiologist before participating in strenuous winter activities.

​Manage stress: A key to cardiovascular harmony​

Winters and in particular holiday season can be stressful for many. People tend to go into depression as travel reduces and loneliness increases. This can bring increased stress impacting your heart health. Practice stress-management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and yoga to keep stress levels in check.

​Regular health check-ups: A winter ritual for heart health​

​Immunization is heart protection​

Flu and pneumonia can pose serious threats to heart health. Stay up-to-date with vaccinations, as they not only protect against respiratory infections but also safeguard your cardiovascular well-being.

As winter wraps its icy fingers around us, these tips will serve as a shield, strengthening your heart health against the challenges of the season. Embrace these practices, and your cardiovascular system will thank you even in winter with resilience and vitality.
(Author: Dr Praveen Sadarmin, Consultant – Cardiologist, Narayana Health City – Bangalore)


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